February 12 to 16 at 7pm, Feb.17 at 2pm
Written by Sophie Treadwell
Directed by Rod Nicholls
“I’m your husband. You aren’t afraid of your husband, are you?” Inspired by one of the most sensational trials of the 1920’s, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal shattered the American tabloid image of a “ruthless murderess” and replaced it with a moving theatrical parable of a young woman trapped in an automated, materialistic society. All her senses are assaulted in this incessantly noisy, claustrophobic prison. No one listens to her. Everything conspires to prevent her own voice being heard. Yet Treadwell’s strikingly visual masterpiece uses unsentimental, subversive, cliché-packed dialogue (of the sort “invented” decades later by Harold Pinter and David Mamet) to express the life of a woman who keeps insisting: “I’ll not submit. I’ll not submit.” And never does.
“Miraculously reborn for the 21st century … Machinal is a startling collision of past and present” (The New York Times)
“Machinal still packs a wallop … it feels contemporary, fresh – an unconventional, almost shocking work when men always have the last word, and it’s always critical” (The Observer)